Body Kindness

Written November 19, 2021 by Julie Niall
Last updated November 19, 2021

I have always loved old people: their wrinkles, their white hair, their laugh lines, how their eyes sparkle and how they don't take themselves too seriously. What they say and who they are is important...not what they wear or how they look. 

It would be refreshing to see a hair or beauty salon that has pictures of all kinds of bodies and faces on its walls.  It would be a salon that had photos of diverse people and of older people with clear signs of aging gracing the room with their truth, their spirit, their that we can value the beauty in everyone, so we can be reminded that the real beauty is within, and so we can be wary of limiting beliefs about who we are based on superficial social views.  

Wouldn't it be great to go get a haircut, and be reminded that we don't need to fit one image; to know that it's okay to want to look one's best, but to also know one is unique in one's appearance; that there are many aspects of what make someone beautiful or interesting, not just one's outward attractiveness as defined by the current societal paradigm.

We live in a toxic "beauty culture". Most main stream media messages try to make us think we need to look this way or that. We pay money to various companies and people (beauty, plastic surgery, diet, pharmaceutical, etc.) that convince us that we are somehow inadequate and break our trust in our bodies' wisdom. We fight against signs of aging and revere youthfulness.

Our bodies house our mind and spirit and carry us through life.  Our body is like our best friend that is always there for us, despite any imperfections or flaws we may see. These bodies - that give us so much joy and pleasure, that birth and nurture babies, and help us do so many things -are amazing. 

We can love our bodies, not in an arrogant or an obsessive way, but through appreciating the miracle of being alive and knowing that our physical health impacts our mental and spiritual wellbeing. 

Let's commit to daily self care where we strive for healthy nutrition, abundant sleep and balanced fitness so we can live as vibrantly as we our bodies can support us in our goals, dreams, relationships, work and all the good things we want to be able to do.

Let's be grateful for these bodies that have endured through injury, illness or abuse.

Let's be reminded of traditional cultures where age and the wisdom accompanying it were revered, and people had more acceptance of the cycle of life and the changes it brought, inwardly and outwardly.

At every age, and with every appearance, we are all worthy and valuable.

"And I said to my body softly, 'I want to be your friend.' It replied. 'I have been waiting my whole life for this.'" ~ Nayyirah Waheed

What would it look like to bring greater self-acceptance and compassion to myself?

Can I trust my own intuition about my body and refuse to let anyone or any company or any social belief system make me feel ashamed of my body?  

How would it feel to accept the different cycles of life and be okay with my natural aging process?    

Can I see the beauty in everyone?

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